TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan will dispatch the Self-Defense Forces in the event that a foreign country invades the Senkaku Islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Wednesday.
"If other countries invade the islands, (Japan will) invoke the right of self-defense and remove them by making any sacrifice," Edano said during a session of a special Diet committee.
Edano was apparently referring to China's naval activities in the region and collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japanese patrol boats last September near the Japanese-administered islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by China and Taiwan.
"We legitimately control the Senkaku Islands. They are different from the Northern Territories or Takeshima," Edano said, referring to Russian-held islands off Hokkaido and South Korean-controlled islets, respectively, using the names employed by Tokyo in claiming sovereignty over them.
In its latest defense white paper issued last week, the Japanese government expressed concern over China's "assertive" approach in maritime disputes with neighboring countries, provoking a backlash from Beijing.
(Mainichi Japan) August 11, 2011
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